Japanese author Randy Taguchi apparently first started putting her fiction on-line, and thus built up quite a following. With this book of four tales it is easy to see why. As Ms Taguchi says in her foreword, these stories are her tribute to one of Japan's three holy mountains.
Here we have 'Blue Summit' about an ex-cult member who now works in a convenience store in the shadow of Mount Fuji. The 'Sea of Trees' is about what happens when three male youths decide to spend the night on Mount Fuji, at a notorious suicide spot. 'Jamila' is a tale about a woman who is a compulsive hoarder, once again this is set in the shadow of Mount Fuji. The last tale, 'Child of Light' follows a nurse and her climb with other women on Mount Fuji.
All the tales have a spiritual feel to them, but there is much more, they all take in philosophy and metaphysics, along with a deep psychological insight in to the characters. The characters are not only alive in these tales, but also are believable. Taking in such things as isolation, depression, suicide and self harm these get to the grittiness of the human condition and are all compelling reads. These tales could have so easily fallen into gloominess, but somehow they don't, they are full of life, and hope.
If you love reading, then this book is something that you should love. I will now be keeping an eye out for more of Ms Taguchi's writing.
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